As the Baby Boomers slowly are forced to give up their passion / hobbies due to age, sickness, etc the rate of exit is significantly >>> the rate of entering.
:-/ Liability (getting sued) and Risks (crashing) are seen as "not worth it" by the younger crowd. Like any community, you need enough "new blood" to sustain it and that isn't happening. Is that a bad thing? I don't know, but we can see trends and it looks like our world is changing. I guess that is the million dollar question: Is it changing for the better ?
I'm guessing you're in you're 30s.
I'm actually a member of the motorcycling community, and both my wife and myself have looked into the cost of obtaining pilot training and buying a share of an airplane. Risk and liability has very little to do with it. Major changes have been significantly increased costs, combined with lowering discressionary income, and reduced willingness to purchase on credit.
The motorcycling community is trending older; mostly mid 20s to late 40 year olds who have successful careers and disposable incomes. This is a group of people who have been responsible in their lives, and have enough money to pay the cost of entry. As a result, a lot of the industry growth has been at the high end. In the motorcycling community, top-of the line Japanese, German, and Italian imports are selling well. Mid-range is suffering somewhat. Low end has been trending towards more premium offerings.
10 years ago, the community was mostly early 20-somethings that would buy new bikes on fairly insane loans. That market is drying up; more and more folks are either buying used, paying cash, or leveraging their good credit for favorable rates.